Longtime interactive design hero-rockstar Joshua Davis has updated his website after a very very long time. Most the the updating consists of his now signature Flash-generative artwork. He has been around the block and is still standing. You can trace him all the way back to the internet will save the world boom in the late nineties through today. I remember watching an interview with him in college and being excited by the collision of art and technology and the influence of that collision on the future of design.

The question is, how relevant is he now? I personally still like some of what he is doing, but I am curious to prod the audience here for a little feedback. What do you think of him and his work now? Is it still on the bleeding edge or has he been overexposed?

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Joshua Davis: Updates”

  1. Laz Says:

    His work is definitely exemplar of a specific type of generative art, and he has a voice in that domain. It’s the more illustrative than anything. I’m not so sure the question is whether or not he is relevant, but rather is his work relevant. I think the problem in the work is that there appears to be a lack of experimentation in terms of subject matter. I do think he has been riding this wave for a while, and he should definitely experiment more creatively–especially with the skills he’s already developed. Natzke is doing some good work in this domain as well, although it may suffer from the same issue that Davis now faces with his work. Generative art algorithms need more than just parameterization for the work to be truly interesting. And I do think digital artists should put a limit on how many “pieces” come out of an algorithm because too many “versions” can spoil the magic of the code that generated the work in the first place.

  2. Christopher Says:

    Yes. Thank you for such a thoughtful and composed comment. Yes, I would agree completely. I guess I didn’t mean to phrase it as ‘is he relevant’ since what I did mean was whether or not his work was. I agree with the lack of experimentation but I wonder though if the reason he hasn’t experimented with it more is because he has created a space for himself that he owns and doesn’t want to break away from it for the possibility of jeapordizing the recognition of his work. I wonder that about a lot of artists and designers though. He has kind of created a brand for himself and probably wants to maintain that. It just seems that as opposed to say someone like Shepard Fairey, Davis is missing an opportunity to create something new and really exciting through the generative process. I don’t write code anymore and really have no desire too but I am continually amazed by what people are producing through processing.

    Anyway, thanks again for the great comment. Always nice to engage with someone here as opposed to just posting a one-way conversation all of the time.

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